Running With Coach Kinsey: If The Shoe Fits


Marty Kinsey

Choosing the right shoe can be a little overwhelming. With the seemingly endless options available to you, how will you ever figure out which shoes to buy and the ones to avoid?

Many factors will determine which shoe is a good fit for a runner including; Mileage run per week, body weight, arch level of foot, stride, typical training surface, type of training, foot strike, and so forth and so on. New Runners often make big mistakes when shopping for the right training shoe. Avoiding these common mistakes should help you save some time, money, and most importantly, injuries.

Common mistake #1: Buying running shoes based on their fashion style.  I’ve seen people training in lightweight racing shoes that had almost no support, which led to a variety of injuries, all because the runners thought the shoes were “cute.” The shoes are going to get dirty anyway, so try to avoid shopping for style.

Common mistake #2: Shopping solely on price. I have seen this go two ways. Some will buy the most expensive shoe because they have to have the latest and greatest.  Others will buy the cheapest shoe possible to save a few extra bucks. Again doing this could result in having a shoe that was not meant for your running style.

Common mistake #3: Avoiding the sales person.  I have made this mistake. My ego gets the better of me sometimes, after all, I know what’s best for me, and a sales person is just going to try to sell me the most expensive shoe. There may be some truth to this, however if the specialist does his or her job they will question your training habits, analyze your gait, and offer you a choice of shoes that should suit your needs.  Let them be the expert.

Common mistake #4: Procrastinating. Shoes are like tires on a car. The more you run on them, the more the break down and eventually need replacement.  After a wash they may look new, but they are still the same worn down shoes on the inside. Shoes tend to last in the range from 300-400 miles based upon the shoe and your training habits.  If you wait too long to get new shoes you will risk injury as your muscles and joints are no longer receiving the support they need.

Happy shopping!

    Living the Run is thrilled to welcome Marty Kinsey’s Weekly Blog, “Running With Coach Kinsey!” Coach Kinsey is the head coach for the men’s and women’s cross country teams at St. Mary’s College (Division 1) in Moraga, California. You can look for Running With Coach Kinsey every Thursday.        

Other Running With Coach Kinsey Blogs:

Gasping for Iron

The Benefits of the Ice Bath

How Much Sleep Runners Need

The Long Run

How to Speed Up With Fartleks

Choosing Your Running Surface 

Marty Kinsey
Men’s and Women’s Head Coach
Cross Country Coach
Saint Mary’s College

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